Michigan universities hit with state shortfall for tuition waivers

Capital News Service

LANSING — The state shortfall in funding a tuition waiver program for Native American students has more than doubled over the past decade, leaving universities to make up the growing difference. The North American Indian Tuition Waiver Program waives tuition and fees for eligible students attending public universities, community colleges and tribal colleges. Participants must be at least one-fourth Native American, enrolled in a federally recognized tribe and have been a Michigan resident for at least a year. The program is “imperative for our students to move forward” in their careers and lives, said Kerstine Bennington, the higher education specialist for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. She would know — she’s a former program participant who used her waiver to attend Michigan State University.

Watch Focal Point: A MSU Professor finds a new office, a MSU student graduates with his mother, and a MSU student starts her own business

On this special edition of Focal Point, we spotlight many cool things Spartans are doing around campus and beyond. Learn about the MSU professor who took his talents out of the classroom and onto a TV set. We introduce you to a group of MSU students who are making dreams come true as Disney princesses. The first annual Izzo Legacy Run/Walk leaps into action and an MSU baseball player achieves a lifelong goal. These stories and more on this edition of Focal Point.

International students impact Michigan economy

Capital News Service

LANSING — International students contributed $39 billion to the U.S. economy and supported almost a half a million American jobs in the 2017-18 academic year, according to a report by the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors. Michigan accounts for $1.2 billion of those funds and 3% of the jobs. And the latest International Institute of Education’s annual Open Doors report said Michigan State University accounted for $342 million and around 5,000 jobs and the University of Michigan accounted for $350 million and around 4,800 jobs — the two largest contributors in the state. Smaller schools also contributed to the economy. Lansing Community College accounted for $2.8 million and 15 jobs, for example.

Two Michigan universities pilot cannabis curriculums; other universities and farm educators yet to show interest

Capital News Service

LANSING — Last week Lake Superior State University (LSSU) approved a business-centered “cannabis curriculum.”

That comes in the wake of Michigan’s fall ballot proposal that legalizes recreational marijuana and is in addition to the school’s cannabis chemistry degree program announced in January. Northern Michigan University started a medicinal cannabis degree program in 2017. So far, no other Michigan universities have expressed similar interest, said Dan Hurley, the chief executive officer for the Michigan Association of State Universities. But Lake Superior students are interested. “We ran a special topics chemistry course last spring and we got about 40-plus students to enroll despite the steep science prerequisite course requirement including organic chemistry,” said David Myton, the associate provost and interim dean of the college of science and the environment at Lake Superior State University.

Sexual misconduct survey hopes to understand campus culture

With hopes to better the future of the university when it comes to sexual misconduct, the Michigan State community is being called upon for help. On Tuesday, a survey was released to students, faculty and staff called “Know More @ MSU.” It’s mission is to get a better understanding of how the community feels about the campus culture and universities sexual misconduct policies. The MSU Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Expert Advisory Workgroup created the optional, confidential survey after different groups wanted more information on where things stand on campus. The seven part survey asks participants to answer “yes” or “no,” how aware they are of programs and if they agree or disagree on topics from relationship violence to how they feel being at MSU to their opinion on university leaders.

Michigan lawmakers go forward on snow day forgiveness bill

A plan to help Michigan school districts with snow day forgiveness is moving through the legislature. The House Education Committee approved a bill this week to forgive the snow days when Michigan was under a state of emergency from Jan. 29-31. However, it’s not getting complete support. This bill does not give hourly school employees the pay they missed during those days .

MSU College of Education remains best in the nation

In a new report from the U.S. News and World Report magazine, five Michigan State University graduates programs placed top in the nation. The College of Education is holding onto their title for its 25 consecutive year in elementary and secondary education. “We think very carefully about the facility that we hire and then we provide support for them while they’re here so that they do terrific work and same thing for the graduate students that we recruit,” Robert Floden, the College of Education dean, said. The other programs ranking number one were supply chain management, rehabilitation processing, and curriculum and instruction programs.


WATCH: Parents are being investigated for cheating the college admissions process, Eight Americans were killed in a plane crash and two shootings in Tennessee leaves two dead.

This week on the Spartan Newsroom update: Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin are among a handful of parents being investigated for cheating college admission processes for prestigious colleges including Yale and Stanford. Safety concerns about the Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes continue after an Ethiopian plane crash and two shootings in Tennessee leave two people injured and two dead.

Watch Focal Point: CMU sexual assault goes to trial, campus robberies continue, Michigan native wins an Oscar, and more.

On this edition of Focal Point, get an overview of a CMU sexual assault going to trial, campus robberies continue in a dorm and in the Eppley Center, and a Michigan native wins an Oscar. In sports, MSU men’s basketball won against Michigan and a high school wrestler shows what true sportsmanship is like. Those stories and more this week on Focal Point.